Because I've been so "out and proud" about being from Kansas, I've gotten a great deal of questions regarding the safety of my family and friends there. I am happy to report that all is well. There have been some close calls, namely the K-5 tornado that hit Greensburg last week. It was the first one the US has had in five years. We should be thankful that the death toll is much lower this time around (Hooray for the advanced warnings). Of course the town itself is much smaller this time (1,574) ! But the tornado was HUGE. Meteorologists of the National Weather Service said "Friday night's tornado had wind estimated at 205mph, and carved a track 1.7 miles wide and 22 miles long (source)."
That the same "super-cell" storm system traveled northeast by my parents' town (Great Bend) and then continued on up to Concordia (near the Nebraska border). A cancelled 2004 check from Greensburg was found in their town! The following night, my folks had three tornado alarms in one single night. This means a tornado has been spotted on the ground nearby and to take cover. Since neither my parents or grandmother have basements, they had to slosh across the flooded streets to a neighbour's home. The third time, my grandmother refused to go and I really can't say I blame her. Instead she sat in her closet. Many farmers are still without electricity and roads all over are flooded from the heavy rains accompanying the storm.
It is tragic about Greensburg. As you can see, there really is nothing left of that town. I've been there before but all I can remember is that it held the World's Largest Hand-Dug Well. I wonder if people took shelter there? I also wonder where the meteorite from the museum went? At 1,000 lbs, it shouldn't be too hard to find! At any rate, my prayers go out to those affected and hope they can put their lives back together somehow.